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31 Reviews
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't think I'd like it, but I do
I bought this on the basis of great reviews but have to say I was not impressed when I first listened to it. However, it has grown on me massively and whilst I would never class myself as a fan of this prog rock sound, I now cannot get enough of it. It's just so different and well put together - you feel as if every musical note / beat / input is significant and well...
Published on 8 Sep 2007 by E. JONES

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just... bonkers!
This is Battles' 1st album proceeding a couple of E.P.s and all I can say is it's absolutely nutss! I've read quite a lot about Mirrored and everyone has a different opinion of what kind of music it is or where it should be pidgeonholed. I love it when music critics get confused!
Some people are classing it as `post rock' which would place them alongside bands like...
Published on 6 July 2008 by Amplified Man


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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't think I'd like it, but I do, 8 Sep 2007
By 
E. JONES (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mirrored (Audio CD)
I bought this on the basis of great reviews but have to say I was not impressed when I first listened to it. However, it has grown on me massively and whilst I would never class myself as a fan of this prog rock sound, I now cannot get enough of it. It's just so different and well put together - you feel as if every musical note / beat / input is significant and well thought through. I highly recommend this album but you may find you have to work on it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just... bonkers!, 6 July 2008
This review is from: Mirrored (Audio CD)
This is Battles' 1st album proceeding a couple of E.P.s and all I can say is it's absolutely nutss! I've read quite a lot about Mirrored and everyone has a different opinion of what kind of music it is or where it should be pidgeonholed. I love it when music critics get confused!
Some people are classing it as `post rock' which would place them alongside bands like Explosions in the Sky and Godspeed. Way off.
Some people have christened it dance music. Eh? Nowhere close.
Some view Mirrored as a `math rock' album. Does anyone know what `Math Rock' is anyway?
Most stick it in the prog rock category, which is a lot closer than the others but still not quite there.
Whatever the opinion of what genre they belong all the professional reviews I've read are gushing over this album. However good it is I don't think it warrants quite so much praise; here's why.

Battles are one of those bands that genuinely defy categorisation and cannot be described under a general term. It's complex fairly cerebral music and incredibly hard to wrap your brain around on the first listen. Battles are drums, guitars, bass, vocals and keyboards; pretty standard rock group elements but what is produced is nothing like you've heard before.

The music is based around very short riffs and loops strung together with fills, runs and bridges many with awkward timings and odd rhythms. It's quite robotic and lacking in soul and the electronic elements; keyboards, samples, and effects emphasise this. The vocals are equally abstract; whistling, bizarre high pitched effects and odd chanting. It's weird stuff, and when all these elements are described it sounds really off putting. Yet it's a strangely compelling listen. The first listen is one of shock and awe; the quality of the musicianship; the lack of any traditional structure or melody. Yet it's these qualities that bring you back, it's kind of like slowing down for a car crash; you don't want to, it's wrong, but some morbid curiosity makes you go through with it.

After repeated listens it is apparrent that Mirrored does contain some melody, particularly in `Race : In', `Atlas' and `Tonto', and you'll just keep coming back for more. Mirrored is far too inaccessable and esoteric for Battles to get big but I wouldn't be surprised if they gained themselves quite the cult following.
Go on, take a chance and buy some brand new music that sounds like nothing you have heard and probably never will again, what big loss could it be? Whether you'll enjoy it is another matter...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Math rock master piece, 11 Dec 2009
This review is from: Mirrored (Audio CD)
Fantastic album, coming on like a bunch of glam rockers trying to disrupt a Can rehearsal. Most math rock gets a bit dry and passionless, all clever time signatures and twee tunes this one however rocks. Atlas is worth the price of admission alone but there are plenty more treats. If you like calculas combined with sweat and noise then this is for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You have to give this at least 3 listens before you rate it!!!, 30 April 2009
This review is from: Mirrored (Audio CD)
I don't normally pitch any reviews here on Amazon but thought for this I should as afer hearing this for the first time I really didn't enjoy it too much, I gave it a 2nd try and it was more bearable but after the 3rd then 4th listen I was hooked. I can't stop listening to it now, in full every time and after each time I listen I just want to listen again. It's different and is much more of a dance record than people seem to think. Very impressed!
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Race:In to Mirrored and never come out., 12 May 2007
By 
Mr. J. Milton "jambo234" (Brighton) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mirrored (Audio CD)
One of the words that you might use when trying to recommend Battles, is "if". IF you are prepared to fall in love with vocals that are swarmed with helium, IF you are prepared to listen to an album an excessive amount of times to let it grow on you, IF you want to know about the future of music, listen to and love Battles.

Math Rock, Post Rock, whatever. This is weird, but there is a very large chance that you will worship this record for the next few years. It could become one of those manifesto's for bands that want to cause a stir in the music industry with inventive, out of control with originality, music.

But what did you expect? With titles like 'Ddiamondd' and 'Leyendecker', you were hardly going to get an album that you could listen and relax to with a cup of coffee at 10 in the evening, were you?

The pure aim of Battle's debut album is to make you think outside of the box. Don't just hear it, think about what you are hearing, think about the exceedingly large amount of work that went into 'Mirrored', imagine making this record. When you do that, you're likely to have got a connection with it, and then just maybe, you will see through everything that could possibly put you off ever listening to it again.

Someone said about 'Mirrored', that it was like a video game, a video game that you are winning! It truly does feel like that, especially in moments like 'Tonto', which has the production levels of a Panda Bear song, and the feel of it gradually grows on you throughout. During the song, you feel like you could be in the 30th century, driving a flying car at unbelievable speeds, feeling like you're in a race and feeling like you're winning.

It's gently done, but 'Mirrored' is like a form of hypnosis. It messes with your head in ways that you will accept it to do but there is no chance whatsoever that this record will have no effect on you, good or bad. This wouldn't happen but if everybody in the world listened to 'Mirrored', there wouldn't be another album that could divide opinions as much. It's similar to nothing. It's inventive, and may well go down as one of the outstanding records of the 21st century, or not. It'll be a close one.

Maybe I haven't got any evidence for what I've stated yet, so I'll give some examples. 'Rainbow' is an-almost instrumental that sounds like 1000 voices shouting at you, it's extraordinary, how any of the sounds you are hearing could have been intentional, rehearsed, actually written down originally, is unbelievable. It sums up the record in a nutshell, you are never sure of what you are hearing, and you may never decide whether you like it or not. The vocals that end the song sound similar to TV On The Radio, passion, proudness, insanity.

'Atlas' is the track that most people will be talking about though. This is where we have the helium vocals, the vocals that grow on you like a beanstalk, until your opinion of it couldn't be more positive. It's a 21st century song, something that nobody would have gotten away with at any other time. Maybe we can all thank Radiohead's 'Kid A' for braving the edge and going one step further, the step that we all wanted music to go to. The vocals don't just become lovable, the drums are commanding, they tighten a grip on your head and keep you listening. 2 and a half minutes in, everything's completely bonkers and surely that's how Battles like it. It becomes vast, one of the most extraordinary things you may hear in your lifetime so far and by the time you reach the closer 'Race:Out' you'll either be left emotionless or in hysterical joy.

Without doubt, something that will take a lot to get used to.

Without doubt, something that will control thousands of peoples music tastes for the next 10 years.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is it...?, 27 April 2008
By 
Mr. M. J. Cole "Coleser" (Gloucester UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mirrored (Audio CD)
This is music for itchy feet and itchy brains. It is driven by a relentless krautrockesque riddim. This is clever and precise music and the `math-rock' tag fits with the album's hypnotic feel drawing the listener in as he or she (`he' in my case, forsooth) ponders the `is it rock or is it electronica or is it, Good Lord, both?' question. The vocals are effect heavy and are used, effectively, as an extra layer of instrumentation over quiet-loud-quiet playing that remindeth this punter of noisy and provocative Scottish noise provocateurs Mogwai. File under `Challenging' but cross-reference under `Uplifting' and `Big'. This is a stimulating group. This is a stimulating group.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Album of 2007?, 8 Feb 2008
This review is from: Mirrored (Audio CD)
Well, one of them. The main competition being Panda Bear, the National and Sir Richard Bishop. I just wanted to counterbalance the reviews from poor souls who seem to think that "pretentious" is a valid criticism of anything. This is very accessible, polished and energetic math-rock. They have immediately placed themselves at (or near) the top of the genre with an album full of solid compositions, driving rhythms and spacey effects. Particularly impressive is their ability to produce well-structured 7+ minute songs that do not rely on empty space and repetition (Atlas, Tonto and Tij). This is an essential album.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Grower, 2 July 2014
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This review is from: Mirrored (Audio CD)
This album is a bit of a grower, but an excellent listen. A combination of dance drums with amazing musicianship. The only downside are the 'chipmunk' vocals, but there is not too much of them.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Energy!, 27 Nov 2009
By 
Mrs "Rumour" (Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mirrored (Audio CD)
I bought this album because I saw Battles playing Atlas on Jools Holland, and I was blown away by it. The album is still growing on me, but the best track is still Atlas - it makes me want to leap about and fills me with energy! Will keep listening to the rest, as I think they will get better.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be put off..., 3 July 2007
By 
Sj Burley "Sam" (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mirrored (Audio CD)
by the indie-heads who don't want to hear anything new. Yeah it's trying to be different and succeeding. And thank god for that! It's the most innovative and creative music I've heard for a very long time. It's not all instantly likeable but certainly instantly fascinating which encourages you to delve deeper into the sometimes complex and unclassifiable insanity! What is abundantly clear is the skill and inspiration of a classy line-up of musicians who are doing something groundbreaking. There will always be people shouting disapproval because they want their rock in bitesize 4/4 riff form. They are the pains in the birthing of new music.
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Mirrored
Mirrored by Battles (Audio CD - 2007)
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